Thursday, June 6, 2013

a crafty girl in London

I have a confession to make... there's been a pretty major reason why I've been quiet on the blog the past week ... it's because we've recently returned from a trip to London! My husband and I were lucky enough to be invited to present at a conference for work, and brought the whole family for fun and sightseeing. I was very, very nervous about attempting such a big trip and such long flights with the little ones (see accompanying post about traveling to London with toddlers below), but it turned out great and I would do it again (with a few modifications) in a heart beat!

The place that was at the top of my must-see list? Of course I wanted to see the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey ... but even more I wanted to visit the flagship Liberty of London store. I have lusted over their fabrics for years, and bought tons of items when they did the partnership with Target a few years back ... needless to say, I was soooo excited to visit their store in person!

The store did not disappoint! In fact, it's cool factor exceeded my expectations. I could've gone crazy in the housewares department, if I hadn't been worried about things breaking on the trip home ...

There was a whole floor devoted to collections made solely from their prints ... and a huge craft section that was well-stocked with Liberty fabric, Rowan yarn, and other major fabric designers like Kaffe Fassett and Anna Maria Horner.

I should have taken a picture, but what impressed me the most was the entire wall of needlepoint kits. I love needlepoint, and have for years bemoaned the fact that the number of needlepoint kits in our big-box craft supply stores has increasingly diminished with time. Not in the UK! A huge assortment was available, from traditional florals to more contemporary, funky designs. It was really hard not to walk away with a kit ... but I set my priority on coming home with Liberty fabric instead.

I ended up coming home with the UK equivalent of "fat quarter" bundles in an assortment of blues ... I am planning to copy the sample quilt they had displayed which was super simple. Just sew the long strips together! I have no desire to cut up these gorgeous prints ... I want to admire them as is! This will be a very special lap quilt that selfishly will be for me oh me .....

I did come home with a little needlework! I couldn't resist this cross-stitch bookmark kit which depicts the gardens around the Orangery at Kensington Palace. That's where my sister and I had afternoon tea, so this bookmark will be extra sentimental for me.

I tracked down yarn too, of course! While impressed with the selection of Rowan at Liberty, I opted for more locally-produced yarn at a LYS instead since I can easily get Rowan at home ... on another day we found iKnit London in Waterloo and I scored these two skeins of amazing hand-dyed sock yarn! 

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